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Evan Longoria Injury: Updates on Rays Star's Hand and Return

Published by Bleacher Report on Tue, 06 Sep 2016

The Tampa Bay Rays announced Evan Longoria was suffering from right hand soreness when he exited Monday's game against the Baltimore Orioles, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Although x-rays were negative, according to Topkin, a return date has yet to be announced.Continue for updates.Duffy Replaces Longoria at Hot CornerMonday, Sept. 5In the first inning, Orioles pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez hit Longoria in the hand with a pitch. Longoria was unable to continue, and Matt Duffy entered the game to fill in at third base.Longoria Would be Big Loss for Rays' LineupThis season, Longoria has rediscoveredhis superstar status that made him an MVP candidate early in his career. He previously looked like an injury-prone player, missing 117 total games in 2011 and 2012.Since 2013, though, Longoria has been durable and reliable. He has played in at least 160 games and hit at least 21 home runs in each of the last three seasons, reaching the 30-homer barrier this season for the first time in since 2013.Longoria's power is essential to a Rays team that doesn't have much of it. Brad Miller is the only other Rays player with more than 20 home runs in 2016.With Longoria on the shelf, Duffy may be the replacement in Tampa Bay's lineup. Richie Shaffer could also be a call-up candidate, though the team has not shown any faith in his ability to be an everyday player in the big leagues through just 36 games.The Rays don't have a lot of depth in the lineup, so losing Longoria will put more pressure on the pitching staff and defense to help them finish an otherwise disappointing season strong.
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